Essendon coach Brad Scott has downplayed concerns that star defender Jordan Ridley suffered a broken jaw after being forced from the field following an off-ball incident, but said he is likely to miss multiple weeks with a concussion.
A groggy Ridley came from the field in the second quarter following a clash with Port Adelaide forward Junior Rioli as the Power survived a major scare to eventually run out 12. 20. (92) to 13. 9. (87) winners over the Bombers.
Scott described the star defender as “the player we could least afford to lose”, and conceded that he was likely to miss multiple weeks as result of the clash with Rioli.
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”I didn’t see the incident and didn’t bother to go back and look at it, but I saw the aftermath,” he said.
“We just started planning straight away that he wouldn’t come back on.
“No surprise that he was subbed off, but he’s OK. I think there were some reports that he’s got a broken jaw, he hasn’t got a broken jaw, he’s fine.
“When they start testing for concussion now, you’re pretty sure he’s out. He’s in pretty good spirits.
“He’s obviously not perfect, but he’ll go into the concussion protocols and we’ll look after him and get him back in a couple of weeks.”
Hawthorn great Dermott Brereton was left baffled by the collision between the two players on Fox Footy’s coverage.
“We don’t know what it is at the moment,” he said.
“Is it a glancing blow? The arm comes across. It seems pretty innocuous. Did he deliberately do it?
“You don’t know. But he’s not playing the ball, it’s behind play, and he jumps.”
The incident is sure to be assessed by AFL match review officer Michael Christian on Monday. A two-match ban would see Rioli miss games against North Melbourne and Melbourne in the next fortnight.
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